We do like to keep an eye out for great uses of MIPS processors and this little project on Hackster IO caught our eye. It simply involves setting up a web server using a MIPS-based PIC32 microcontroller running the popular open source web server software, Mongoose.
The projects author claims that once you have everything you need you can get the web server in up and running in just five minutes.
Hardware wise you’ll need a Microchip PIC32MX processer and a Microchip Explorer 16/32 Explorer development board. For this project the author selected the Microchip PIC32MX795F512L; an 80 MHz 32-bit MIPS M4K core. It has 512 Kb of flash and 128 Kb of SRAM and can interface with USB and Ethernet. It’s very affordable, and you can pick one up for around £8.50.
With your own personal web server you could set up a machine for tasks such as accessing documents, downloading your own music, or indeed hosting a web site. Of course, with the proliferation of easy access to web hosting, cloud services, music streaming services and home NAS boxes some may wonder why you’d want to spend time setting up your own web server. The simple answer is that doing so could simply be a great way of experimenting and learning about hardware and network stacks and it could be, dare we say it, a bit of fun.
We certainly love to encourage anyone looking to learn how they can create cool things with MIPS. Back in 2014 in conjunction with Microchip we ran a competition for Chinese students to express their creativity around the theme of ‘Green and innovation’ and come up with an innovative use for embedded MIPS-based PIC32MCUs. There were even prizes awarded!
The completion was a success and while we can’t announce details at the moment we are hoping to run the competition once again in 2017. We’ll announce more details as soon as we can.